Students often ask me why British people love talking about the weather so much.
It’s a great topic for making conversation with strangers because it isn’t likely to offend people or make them feel uncomfortable.
The other reason people in Britain talk about the weather so much is that it’s very unpredictable. We have lots of different kinds of weather in the UK – often all in the same day! This means that we have lots of different words to talk about our unusual weather. Here are some useful words for talking about winter weather.
I’m sure you all know about snow but sometimes, rather than soft flakes falling, hard balls fall from the sky. We call this hail or sleet.
What about when you look out of the window and see the ground is covered in a thin layer of white ice? We call that frost. Sometimes when a cake is covered in a thin layer of white sugar, we say it is frosted because it looks like it’s covered in frost.
When it’s really cold, dripping water can freeze into a long spike made of ice. We call this an icicle.
Sometimes, kids like to play snowballs in winter by making snow into balls and throwing them at each other. They might also want to make a snowman – a person made out of snow.
Lakes and ponds might get frozen over in the winter and covered in a layer of ice. It can be fun ice-skating on a frozen lake, but it’s safer to go to an ice-rink (special place for ice-skating).
When it’s cold, it’s important to wrap up (wear warm clothes), otherwise you might start shivering (shaking slightly) and need a hot toddy (warm alcoholic drink) to warm you up again.
Can you think of any other useful winter words to add to our list?
image: Luis Hernandez